The lost silver coin (Lk 15:8-15:8)

“A woman,

Had ten silver coins.

If she loses

One of them,

Does she not

Light a lamp,

Sweep the house,

And search diligently

Until she finds it?”

 

Ἢ τίς γυνὴ δραχμὰς ἔχουσα δέκα, ἐὰν ἀπολέσῃ δραχμὴν μίαν, οὐχὶ ἅπτει λύχνον καὶ σαροῖ τὴν οἰκίαν καὶ ζητεῖ ἐπιμελῶς ἕως οὗ εὕρῃ;

 

Next Luke had Jesus present 3 unique parables that do not appear elsewhere in the canonical gospels.  The first one is a short story about a lost coin, while the other two unique parables are longer.  Jesus said that this woman (Ἢ τίς γυνὴ) had 10 drachma silver coins (δραχμὰς ἔχουσα δέκα).  If she lost one of them (ἐὰν ἀπολέσῃ δραχμὴν μίαν), would she not light a lamp (οὐχὶ ἅπτει λύχνον), sweep the house (καὶ σαροῖ τὴν οἰκίαν), and search diligently or carefully (καὶ ζητεῖ ἐπιμελῶς), until she found it (ἕως οὗ εὕρῃ).  In this story, a woman with 10 drachmas lost one of them.  The Greek drachma was worth about a day’s pay so that 10 would have been about 2 weeks’ salary.  Thus, this lost drachma would roughly be about a day’s pay.  Would she not search her house with a lamp, sweeping everywhere?  Do you search for things when you lose them?

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The lit lamp (Lk 11:33-11:33)

“No one,

After lighting

A lamp,

Puts it

In a cellar.

Nor do they

Put it

Under a basket.

But they put it

On a lampstand.

Thus,

Those who enter

May see the light.”

 

Οὐδεὶς λύχνον ἅψας εἰς κρύπτην τίθησιν οὐδὲ ὑπὸ τὸν μόδιον, ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ τὴν λυχνίαν, ἵνα οἱ εἰσπορευόμενοι τὸ φέγγος βλέπωσιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that no one (Οὐδεὶς), after lighting a lamp (λύχνον ἅψας), puts it in a cellar (εἰς κρύπτην τίθησιν).  Nor do they put it under a basket (οὐδὲ ὑπὸ τὸν μόδιον).  Rather, they put it on a lampstand (ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ τὴν λυχνίαν).  Thus, those who enter may see the light (ἵνα οἱ εἰσπορευόμενοι τὸ φέγγος βλέπωσιν).  A similar saying of Jesus can be found in Matthew, chapter 5:15, and Mark, chapter 4:21, and earlier in Luke, chapter 8:16.  There Luke indicated that Jesus said that no one (Οὐδεὶς), after lighting a lamp (δὲ λύχνον ἅψας), would hide it under a jar or a vessel (καλύπτει αὐτὸν σκεύει).  No one puts a lamp under a bed (ἢ ὑποκάτω κλίνης τίθησιν).  But they put it on a lampstand (ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ λυχνίας τίθησιν).  Thus, those who enter the house (ἵνα οἱ εἰσπορευόμενοι) may see the light (βλέπωσιν τὸ φῶς).  Mark indicated that Jesus said to his disciples that a lamp should not be brought into a house to be put under a bushel basket or under a bed.  Rather it is better to put it on a lampstand.  Thus, the light from the lit candle lamp would shine on everyone and everything in the house.  Matthew was more expansive compared to Luke.  He indicated that Jesus said that after lighting a lamp, no one puts it under a bushel, but rather on a lampstand.  Thus, the light from the lit candle lamp would shine on everyone in the house.  Matthew, instead of leaving it generic, applied this to his disciples.  Their light should shine before other men.  Thus, others would see their good works, since it was not about faith alone.  The ultimate result would be that others would glorify their heavenly father.  Where do you put your lit lamp of your life?

 

Jesus said that she was sleeping (Lk 8:52-8:52)

“They were all weeping.

And wailing

For her.

But Jesus said.

‘Do not weep!

She is not dead,

But sleeping.’”

 

ἔκλαιον δὲ πάντες καὶ ἐκόπτοντο αὐτήν. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Μὴ κλαίετε· οὐκ ἀπέθανεν ἀλλὰ καθεύδει.

 

Luke said that all the people were weeping and wailing for the young girl (ἔκλαιον δὲ πάντες καὶ ἐκόπτοντο αὐτήν).  However, Jesus told them (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) not to weep (Μὴ κλαίετε).  She was not dead (οὐκ ἀπέθανεν), but sleeping (ἀλλὰ καθεύδει).  This episode of the crowd outside the house of Jairus with the dead or sleeping girl is similar to what can be found in Mark, chapter 5:38-39, and Matthew, chapter 9:23-24.  Mark said that Jesus came to the house of this synagogue leader, where he saw this crowd commotion.  The people were weeping and wailing loudly, definitely mourning for the dead young girl.  Jesus then asked them why they were making such a big tumult?  Why were they weeping?  The girl was not dead, but only sleeping.  Matthew said that Jesus arrived at this leader’s house, where he saw the mourning flute players.  This is the only time that this word for flute players (αὐλητὰς) is found in the biblical literature.  Neither Mark or Luke mentioned anything about flute players.  The crowd was agitated.  Jesus told them to go away, since the girl was not dead, but only sleeping.  How do you handle the death of others?

The disciples seek an explanation about a parable (Mt 13:36-13:36)

“Then Jesus left the crowds.

He went into the house.

His disciples approached him.

Saying.

‘Explain to us

The parable of the weeds

In the field.’”

 

Τότε ἀφεὶς τοὺς ὄχλους ἦλθεν εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν. Καὶ προσῆλθον αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ λέγοντες Διασάφησον ἡμῖν τὴν παραβολὴν τῶν ζιζανίων τοῦ ἀγροῦ.

 

Only Matthew has this request for an explanation about the parable of the weeds that was earlier in this chapter, 13:24-30.  Then Jesus, via Matthew, left or dismissed the crowds (Τότε ἀφεὶς τοὺς ὄχλους).  He then went into the house (ἦλθεν εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν), without an explanation of whose house it was.  His disciples then approached him (Καὶ προσῆλθον αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ), asking him to explain the parable of the weeds in the field to them (λέγοντες Διασάφησον ἡμῖν τὴν παραβολὴν τῶν ζιζανίων τοῦ ἀγροῦ).  Thus, the mystery would be revealed to his disciples in private, much like a gnostic elite group.

Jesus siting in a boat by the sea (Mt 13:1-13:2)

“That same day,

Jesus went out

Of the house.

He sat beside the sea.

Such great crowds

Gathered around him,

That he got into a boat.

He sat there.

Meanwhile,

The whole crowd stood

On the beach.”

 

Ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ ἐξελθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τῆς οἰκίας ἐκάθητο παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν

καὶ συνήχθησαν πρὸς αὐτὸν ὄχλοι πολλοί, ὥστε αὐτὸν εἰς πλοῖον ἐμβάντα καθῆσθαι, καὶ πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος ἐπὶ τὸν αἰγιαλὸν εἱστήκει.

 

A similar statement can be found in Mark, chapter 4:1.  This seems to be a transition statement.  It was the same day (Ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ), but Jesus left his house (ἐξελθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τῆς οἰκίας) and sat beside the Sea of Galilee (ἐκάθητο παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν).  Such great crowds gathered or assembled around him (καὶ συνήχθησαν πρὸς αὐτὸν ὄχλοι πολλοί), so that Jesus got into a boat (ὥστε αὐτὸν εἰς πλοῖον ἐμβάντα).  He then sat there in the boat (καθῆσθαι), while the whole crowd stood on the beach shore (καὶ πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος ἐπὶ τὸν αἰγιαλὸν εἱστήκει).  Jesus was no longer talking to just his apostles since this was a whole crowd of people.

The tax collectors and sinners (Mt 9:10-9:10)

“As he sat

At the dinner table

In the house,

Many tax collectors,

As well as sinners

Came in.

They were sitting

With Jesus

As well as his disciples.”

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο αὐτοῦ ἀνακειμένου ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ, καὶ ἰδοὺ πολλοὶ τελῶναι καὶ ἁμαρτωλοὶ ἐλθόντες συνανέκειντο τῷ Ἰησοῦ καὶ τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ.

 

This story about this dinner party is similar to Mark, chapter 2:15, and Luke, chapter 5:29, but there it was explicitly mentioned that this meal took place in the house of Levi, the Jewish name for Matthew.  Here it simply says that this meal was in a house (ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ) without indicating whose house.  Would it have been the house of Jesus in Capernaum?  Presumably, it was the house of Matthew, the tax collector. since other tax collectors (καὶ ἰδοὺ πολλοὶ τελῶναι) were there also.  Was this a farewell meal for Matthew as he was to set out as a disciple of Jesus?  If this Matthew was the author of this gospel, there is very little elaboration here about his house or dinner party.  Jesus sat or reclined at the dining table in this house (Καὶ ἐγένετο αὐτοῦ ἀνακειμένου ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ).  However, besides the tax collectors, a lot of sinners came to sit down or recline (καὶ ἁμαρτωλοὶ ἐλθόντες συνανέκειντο) with Jesus and his disciples (τῷ Ἰησοῦ καὶ τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ).  The tax collectors were collecting money for the Roman Empire, so that they could hardly be called model Jewish citizens.  The sinners (ἁμαρτωλοὶ), on the other hand, could either be non-Jewish gentiles or other public immoral Jewish men, who were unclean.

The value of the lighted lamp (Mt 5:15-5:16)

“No one,

After lighting a lamp,

Puts it

Under a bushel,

But on the lampstand.

It gives light

To all in the house.

In the same way,

Let your light

Shine before others,

So that they may see

Your good works.

They give glory

To your Father,

Who is in heaven.”

 

οὐδὲ καίουσιν λύχνον καὶ τιθέασιν αὐτὸν ὑπὸ τὸν μόδιον, ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ τὴν λυχνίαν, καὶ λάμπει πᾶσιν τοῖς ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ.

οὕτως λαμψάτω τὸ φῶς ὑμῶν ἔμπροσθεν τῶν ἀνθρώπων, ὅπως ἴδωσιν ὑμῶν τὰ καλὰ ἔργα καὶ δοξάσωσιν τὸν πατέρα ὑμῶν τὸν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.

 

This saying of Jesus can be found in Mark, chapter 4:21, and Luke, chapter 8:16. This time, Matthew is closer to Luke. After lighting a lamp (καίουσιν λύχνον), no one puts it under a bushel (οὐδὲ… καὶ τιθέασιν αὐτὸν ὑπὸ τὸν μόδιον), but rather on a lampstand (ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ τὴν λυχνίαν). Thus, the light from the lit candle lamp would shine on everyone in the house (καὶ λάμπει πᾶσιν τοῖς ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ). Once again, Matthew, instead of leaving it generic, applied this to his disciples. Their light should shine before other men (οὕτως λαμψάτω τὸ φῶς ὑμῶν ἔμπροσθεν τῶν ἀνθρώπων). Thus, others would see their good works, (ὅπως ἴδωσιν ὑμῶν τὰ καλὰ ἔργα), since it was not about faith alone. The ultimate result would be that others would glorify their heavenly father (καὶ δοξάσωσιν τὸν πατέρα ὑμῶν τὸν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς). This is the first mention of their father in heaven (τὸν πατέρα ὑμῶν τὸν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς), since the scene after the Baptism of Jesus just had a voice from heaven (φωνὴ ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν) talk about his beloved son, not explicitly the heavenly father.